Peyton Manning may have been subtly spiking the football when responding to a question whether he had any thoughts about the news that Al Jazeera America is shutting down as of April 30.
With a straight face, Manning told reporters, who erupted in laughter at a press conference, in deadpan, low-key tone of voice that “No I really don’t. I’m sure it’s going to be just devastating to all their viewers.”
Manning’s sarcasm was an acknowledgement that AJAM’s ratings are so low that they don’t even show up on the Neilsen radar.
A Mediaite commenter quipped that “Bet he’s singing ‘Al Jazeera’s off the air’ in his head to the Nationwide commercial jingle.”
The Denver Broncos quarterback has vehemently denied an Al Jazeera America report implying that he used human growth hormone (based on HGH shipments allegedly made to his wife) to recover from injuries to his neck. He apparently is considering legal action against the network. MLB players Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Howard have already sued Al Jazeera America for libel over similar allegations that they used prohibited performance-enhancing drugs.
The Broncos, with future Hall of Famer Manning, 39, reinstalled as starting QB over Brock Osweiler, host the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday afternoon in an NFC Divisional Playoff game at Mile High Field.
There are some rumors that the 2016 NFL playoffs will be Manning’s last rodeo as an active professional football player.
As the Inquisitr previously explained, Manning’s least favorite cable news channel, financed by the government of Qatar, launched in 2013 when it bought Al Gore’s equally low-rated Current TV for $500 million, but failed to attract significant viewership. In a memo to the station’s staff, CEO Al Anstey described the channel’s business model as unsustainable.
“The channel.. had fallen victim to the lack of a business model beyond continuous support from Qatar, the energy-rich country that owns Al Jazeera. Some staffers saw that as a tacit admission that falling oil prices were behind the closure, though a spokeswoman for the company denied that on Wednesday,” the New York Times reported.
The news crew that put together the controversial PED documentary is apparently not going anywhere, however. “The unit that produced the doping investigation will be unaffected by the just-announced shutdown of Al Jazeera America, according to a spokesperson for the network. Those investigative employees report to Al Jazeera Media Network; they have their own ‘directorate’ within the corporate structure, with offices in Doha, London and Washington,” the Washington Post reported yesterday.
Mediaite columnist Joe Concha maintains that Al Jazeera America never had a chance.
“The original Al Jazeera — based in Qatar — had been blasted continuously as being an anti-American media outlet with sympathy for Al Qaeda. That may be an unfair characterization to some given all the solid reporting it does in dangerous places overseas. But when your network is the first choice of Osama Bin Laden and the world’s (formerly) most notorious terror organization to get its message out (in a world before social media), that results in poor branding … particularly when opening shop in the United States. So if Al Jazeera America (AJAM) was going to succeed, the name had to go. It’s almost like creating a new financial network and calling it Bernie Madoff Broadcasting…”
The American channel saw a number of key executives exit, and in April 2015, Al Jazeera America was hit with a $15 million wrongful termination lawsuit from a former employee that charged the cable news channel with allegedly harboring a behind-the-scenes anti-female, anti-U.S., and anti-Semitic environment.
At the time of the sale of Current TV to the parent Al Jazeera satellite network, which gave Al Jazeera a media foothold in the U.S., environmental activist Gore took a lot of heat, as it were, even from fellow liberal Jon Stewart, for apparent hypocrisy in selling his TV station to “Big Oil.”
According to NBC’s Pro Football Talk, “Actually, the cessation of business operations makes it easier for Manning to walk away from suing Al Jazeera, giving him a handy P.R. path away from a legal strategy that could have done much more harm than good.”
Do you think that Peyton Manning will actually sue the soon-to-go-dark Al Jazeera America over the HGH allegations?
[Photo by Jack Dempsey/AP]